Accommodations for Disabled Students
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (“SLCHS”) complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. It is SLCHS’s policy to provide individuals with disabilities full and equal enjoyment of the services, facilities, and privileges of SLCHS. Specifically, SLCHS does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its admission, recruitment, academics, housing, research, financial aid, counseling, employment assistance, and/or any other service, facility, or privilege available to students or potential students. Further, SLCHS does not screen out, exclude, expel, limit, or otherwise discriminate against an individual seeking admission as a student, or an individual enrolled as a student, based on disability. SLCHS promotes an environment of respect and support for individuals with disabilities.
SLCHS will make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities as defined by applicable law. Reasonable accommodations may include reasonable modifications to SLCHS’s policies, practices and procedures where necessary for individuals with disabilities unless doing so would alter requirements that are essential to the instruction being pursued or to licensing requirements. SLCHS will also provide necessary and reasonable auxiliary aids and services for individuals with disabilities. Further, SLCHS strives to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities and to provide services, facilities and privileges to achieve equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. Examples of some of the reasonable accommodations SLCHS makes available include but are not limited to Academic/Program Modifications; Access to Facilities; Classroom Access; Communication Access; Testing Accommodations; Information Referral; Priority Registration; and Parking.
SLCHS is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. The professions for which SLCHS offers programs, however, may have cognitive, sensory, affective, and psychomotor functional requirements that are essential for the delivery of safe, effective care. Thus, individuals must be able to meet these functional requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation in order to participate in SLCHS’s programs. For example, the functional abilities that are essential to engage in the practice of nursing, and which are required to be met (with or without reasonable accommodations) to participate in SLCHS’s nursing program derive from the list of Functional Abilities Essential for Competent Nursing Practice, developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Students and potential students should consult with the Dean of Students office for information on the functional abilities essential to the practice of professions for which SCLHS offers programs.
A. Requesting Accommodation
Any applicant, student, or other individual who believes a reasonable accommodation is necessary to enable such person to seek admission, enroll, or otherwise participate fully and equally in an SLCHS program is encouraged to contact the Dean of Students to discuss any needs he/she may have. The Dean of Students will consult with the individual, faculty, staff, and other departments as necessary in an effort to arrive at a reasonable accommodation.
It is the responsibility of the student or potential student seeking accommodation to identify his/her condition and provide the requested documentation. Students seeking an accommodation will be scheduled for a confidential meeting with the Dean of Students to discuss the student’s needs and complete an “Application for Services Form” as provided by the Dean of Students. To obtain accommodations by the start of a semester, the student should meet with the Dean of Students as soon as possible, preferably, at least, six (6) weeks before the first day of classes or, if the accommodation relates to a specific class(es), before enrolling in the class(es). Such notice will allow students and the Dean of Students a reasonable period of time in which to determine whether the requested accommodations are necessary, appropriate and effective, evaluate alternatives if appropriate, and to implement the resources for any necessary aid in a timely manner.
In addition to completing an “Application for Services Form” at the meeting with the Dean of Students, the student will also need to present current documentation regarding the nature of the disability and any accommodations needed. The Dean of Students will review the “Application for Services Form” and all documentation, with the assistance of an outside medical professional if necessary. Documentation requirements are outlined further below. Reasonable accommodations are determined through the collaboration of the Dean of Students, the student, faculty, individual departments, and outside professionals as warranted, with consideration for essential standards for courses, programs, services and activities, or status of facilities.
When a reasonable accommodation is deemed necessary, the Dean of Students will develop a plan identifying the student’s disability, the circumstances for which accommodations are needed, and the reasonable accommodations recommended by the Dean of Students. The plan will be distributed to those with a need to know to put any accommodation in place. Additionally, the Dean of Students will contact individual faculty members to discuss, as necessary, the recommended accommodations and the process for implementation. Faculty is expected to assist with the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary without compromise to essential elements of the course or evaluation standards. If agreed-upon accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner, then the student is encouraged to contact the Dean of Students.
Individuals seeking admission and progression to clinical courses, and graduation from SLCHS must be able to meet the physical and emotional requirements of the academic program. Individuals who pose a direct threat to the safety and welfare of others or to that of themselves may be denied admission, progression, or graduation. SLCHS’s individualized assessment of an applicant’s or a student’s threat to the safety and welfare of self or others will be based on current medical evidence or on the best-available objective evidence that assesses the nature, duration, and severity of the risk and the probability that injury will occur.
Students who have concerns about the accommodations provided or not provided or who wish to submit a complaint about discrimination or harassment based upon disability should report their concerns to the Dean of Students or to the President. SLCHS endeavors to provide prompt and equitable resolution to student concerns.
B. Required Documentation
SLCHS relies on students to self-report impairments, conditions, and disabilities as well as documentation from professionals in order to determine accommodations. Disability documentation from treating health care providers should conform to the following criteria:
- Documentation must be from a professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience and licensure appropriate to the profession. Documentation must be current. If it is not, then the Dean of Students will request current documentation and, if necessary, will provide references for health care providers, including the option of using the St. Luke’s Health System Student Assistance Program, or a referral to a currently licensed, professional provider of services (within or external to SLHS), aligned to the specified need (i.e. counseling, testing, etc).
- Reports must be on letterhead and signed by the treating health care professional, including titles and license descriptors as appropriate. Additional documentation may be requested.
- Diagnostic statements must identify each condition, including ICD or DSM codes as appropriate, date/copy of the most recent full evaluation, and dates/copies of additional evaluations.
- The current impact of the condition(s) described in a clinical narrative and through the provision of specific results from diagnostic procedures. As appropriate to the condition(s) and/or requested accommodation, include impact on major bodily functions (including but not limited to the functions of the immune system, cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions), and functional impact on behavioral abilities. Descriptions should provide the sense of severity, information on variability over time or circumstances, expected duration of impact, and potential triggers. Descriptions should also include any significant side effects of treatment that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance.
- Recommended accommodations, modifications, and services. Recommendations should be logically related to the functional impact of each condition, to ensure equal access and opportunity at SLCHS. When connections are not obvious, they should be explained. The Dean of Students may assist in SLCHS’s evaluation of whether the accommodation is appropriate.
- Medical information provided by the student will be kept confidential to the extent possible, except that information may be shared as necessary to implement accommodations.
To assist in ensuring disability documentation meets the above-stated criteria, it is suggested that the student provides their treating health care professional with a copy of this policy when seeking documentation.
C. Honor Code
An accommodation based on a student’s disability may relate to the administration of testing, examinations, or other coursework. Students provided with such accommodations must continue to adhere to SLCHS’s honor statement. Failure to adhere to the honor statement may result in disciplinary action.